As the Cold War gathered pace in the late 1940s, the Soviet Union adopted an anti-Western orientation in cultural affairs. By 1949 this orientation had shifted toward overt anti-Semitism. The "anticosmopolitan" campaigns of 1949, initiated by Josif Stalin, served the interests of Soviet foreign policy and bolstered Stalin's position vis-à-vis his subordinates. For the Soviet scholarly and cultural communities, however, the campaigns were gravely damaging. This episode illustrates the link between Soviet foreign policy objectives and domestic repression under Stalin.